Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Residents and motorists plying the popular Ugbighoko- Ekenhuan Barracks road in Benin City, the Edo State Capital, have called for urgent intervention from the state government following the deplorable portion between Ago-Ivbigie and Oghede of the road.
The road, which is almost becoming a nightmare for the people as they are now forced to take alternative but farther routes, is almost cutting off people of Oghede community from its neighbouring Ugbighoko.
This was even as Leaders’ College junction to Catholic road junction, another failed portion of the road that has no side drainage is usually abandoned by motorists whenever it rains.
The failed portion it was learnt could no longer carry the volume of water away from the area each time it’s rains, hence, the people’s appeal for the state governor to revisit the place.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, had in 2019, awarded the reconstruction of the first phase of the Ekenhuan road dual carriage way from Siluko Road junction to Ekenhuan Barracks, measuring about 8.3km to Heartland Construction Company.
About 5 km of the road have been reconstructed since it was awarded in 2019, this is even as some portion of the road are failing already.
Some of the residents and motorists who commented on the bad state of the road, said the road had become a nightmare for them to reach the City centre.
One of the residents Mr. Isaac Philip, said the transportation fare has increased from between N300, N400, to N500 and N700 par trip.
“We are unable to go out on a daily basis as we use to do because of the high cost of transportation. Most people do go out now when they have an important assignment to execute in town.
“The worst hit stretch of the road is the Oghede and Ago-Ivbigie section of the road leading to the Gelegele port. This section has become impassible save for high calibre vehicles like heavy duty trucks, a situation which has been made worse by current excessive rainfall. Motorists are finding it difficult to plying the road,” he added.
He lamented that he was spending over N1,200 a day on transportation fare and called on the government to come to their aid.
A motorist, Osahon Osasu, who spoke on the development, said they have to visit mechanic workshop on a daily basis to repair one or two parts in their vehicle.
“We are finding it difficult to move on the road as a result of the deplorable state of the road. Many of us have abandoned the roads for other fairly good roads to save our vehicles,” he added.
He said motorists have to increase transportation fare, because they are battling high cost of fuel as well as deplorable roads.
One of the landlords in the area who craved for anonymity, said, “They ,(Edo State Government) said the road was awarded to a construction company some time ago.
“But I don’t really know because all these time, they (the construction company) will come and dig the roads and they were busy selling the sand, the old asphalt and the rods which they excavated from the road without fixing.
“And there is no road for us to pass again. Once it is 6pm, the bus fare from Ring Road to Ekenhuan Barracks is N800. Some of us that have cars, we go to the mechanic workshop everyday.”
Others who spoke to THISDAY lamented that the hardship was telling on them as they have other bills to pay.